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WOODEN SHJIPS

Wooden Shjips, as it is today, started in 2006. The band self released a 10” and 7” that year and started playing shows shortly thereafter. Prior to 2006, Wooden Shjips was an experiment in primitive and minimalist rock. After it imploded, Ripley Johnson, guitar and vocals, assembled the current lineup of Dusty Jermier on bass, Nash Whalen on organ, and Omar Ahsanuddin on drums. 'West' marks the first time the band recorded in a proper studio, as well as the first time with an engineer (Phil Manley). All previous recordings, either self-released, for Holy Mountain, or Mexican Summer were done more piecemeal in the band’s rehearsal studio. 'West' was recorded and mixed in six days at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco. It was mastered by Sonic Boom at Blanker Unisinn, Brooklyn, with additional mastering by Heba Kadry at the Lodge in New York.

The over riding theme for the album (as indicated by the title) is the American West, and all of the mythology, romanticism, and idealism that it embodies. The band members grew up on the East Coast, so for a long time the history and literature of the West was an abstraction and a fascination for them. Part of the allure of the West, which is part of the myth, is the concept of Manifest Destiny, the vastness, and the possibilities for reinvention, which is not to say that is what each song is specifically about, but it was very much an undercurrent during the songwriting of the album. The artwork also touches on the same theme by using an iconic structure that is both a gateway in a literal and metaphorical sense.

It is easy to see why these would appeal to Wooden Shjips, as their music lends itself to exploration. It is both transformative and transporting, the sum being far greater than it’s parts. The steady driving rhythms are the elliptical motion machine driven by the often thick and distorted guitar lines, melodic and boundless. Where they may lead cannot be anticipated but following them is exhilarating. It is all about getting there, the destination, while the experience of getting there is an adventure. It is the guitar lines that guide both the listener and the band on the literal and metaphorical journey into the vastness. The ghostly vocals, obscured by dense layers of instruments surrounding them, are alluring with their airy mystery. This elusive quality further draws the listener in, while they attempt to grasp at their meaning. While indebted to both the psych music of the ‘60s and mid-‘70s, electric Neil Young, and even the induced travels of Spacemen 3, the Wooden Shjips’ music is modern and in every way their own. 'West' is an epic journey to the edge and beyond.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: **ONE COPY FOUND!!

Strap in for travels beyond the galaxy, to tranced-out cosmic bliss! Sick Thirst presents "Vol 2", the second compilation of hard-to-find Wooden Shjips tracks. "Vol 2" digs deep to collect the band's Sub Pop and Mexican Summer singles, two self-released European tour singles, and a track from Yeti magazine, for nearly 44 minutes of fuzzed-out psych jams. Not just for completists, "Vol 2" contains the essential live standards "Loose Lips", "Death's Not Your Friend (live)", and "I Hear the Vibrations (the E-Z Version)", plus savage covers of Neil Young's "Vampire Blues" and Serge Gainsbourg's "Contact".

Wooden Shjips is a trance-rock quartet from San Francisco, consisting of Omar Ahsanuddin (drums), Dusty Jermier (bass), Nash Whalen (organ), and Ripley Johnson (guitar and vocals). Their sound, as I'm sure you all know now, has hints of krautrock, the trance-inducing organ haze of Suicide, Velvets-style dance-drone, classic desert-fried garage psych and the mysterious, obscure Japanese lysergic-rock band Les Rallizes Denudes, all mixed into one explosive whole.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited white vinyl edition.

A rock band for the rave generation? Or a rave band for modern day rockers? "Dos" single-handedly flew across genres and took us all into the heady world of psychedelia, San Francisco and guitars. Melodies and hooks so beautifully transcendental that they cannot be ignored, whatever musical camp you occupy. Ripley Johnson's epic riffs cascade with elegance over drummer, Omar Ahsanuddin's rabid, ferocious yet mechanical clattering; organ and bass (Nash Whalen / Dusty Jermier) rumble and stir the thick psych stew while vocals rise and fall like whispering angels. While "Dos" is accessible and welcoming, it's cross-over potential should not cloud it's creditability as one fuzz heavy, psychedelic rock masterpiece and while it's production and style draw from the past, it's energy, charisma and euphoria lift it well beyond any of it's contemporaries in 2009. A God-like album for one and all.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP includes MP3 Download Code.

This release brings together a collection of long deleted vinyl only sides from San Francisco's Wooden Shjips. The Wooden Shjips' earliest material was released on vinyl, pressed in small quantities that were either free or hard to come by and are now hopelessly out of print. So, The Shjips do the honourable thing and let everyone get their mits on 'the early stuff', and limited singles, for those of you who missed the original vinyl (and that isn't surprising if you did). We are very happy to be able to provide you with the rush of "Shrinking Moon for You", 8 plus minutes of groovy guitar head melt. Followed up by "Death's Not Your Friend" which is a bit looser round the edges, a touch of strung out, fractured, acid soaked psyche. "Space Clothes" is third up, laying down some very oddball spoken word (backwards) over oscillating guitar feedback and ambient weirdness. Onto "Clouds Over Earthquake" the total classic sludge-fest from the 'Dance California 7"'. And after that is what is no doubt their best single, the aforementioned "Dance California" with guitars tuned up and effected to sound like bloody bagpipes, this wall of sonic mind f*ck is relentless in groove and attack. Last up is "Sol 07" which was a limited Holy Mountain release split over two sides, here laid out in all it's wasted funky grooviness, to a nice 11 and a half minutes. Godlike.


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